Wildcats to Have New Look
Gone due to graduation are last year’s Quarterback Aaron Heasley and All-Purpose player Hayden Hizer both who were four year starters that could score at anytime. However the Cat’s have several good ball players returning and don’t plan on laying down for anyone. In fact if they can stay healthy they may prove to be a handful for every team on the schedule.
The Wildcats will start the season with three straight home games, starting with Symmes Valley, Ohio on August 25, at 7 p.m. Even though the Cat’s are inexperienced at Quarterback, coach Croasmun feels junior Michael Shreves (5′ 9” 155) will be able to step in and get the job done. Shreve’s is a hard worker who has spent the winter and summer in the weight room and if he can open things up a little with his passing the Cat’s have the tools for an effective running game.
Senior Rander Amos, who hits as hard as anyone around and has been the teams leading tackler the past two years from his middle linebacker spot will be counted on heavily to pick up yardage at the fullback position. He has decent speed and with his strength will not be easy to bring down. Croasmun will also be counting on Anthony Newman a hard nosed junior running back who had a couple big games last year, Newman has good speed as well and the ability to hit the hole and make something happen. Sophomore Clayton Thomas will likely start in the backfield with Amos giving the Wildcats a triple threat. He has some natural ability and breakaway speed once he gets in the open. Senior Marcus Allen will also see some time coming out of the backfield but will primarily be used at the wideout. If the running game is not working look for the Cat’s to open it up with Allen, Newman and Bryant McKay the main targets.
” This group has great attitudes and I really like their work ethic, they work very well together. We don’t have what you call “flashy” players but we do have blue collar guys who like to play football and will play hard. For us to be successful, we must be able to run the ball and play good defense, ” said Croasmun.
The Wildcats team strengths is their experience on the offensive line with seniors David Joy, at 6′ 1″ 245lb, Drew Carpenter 5′ 8″ 170, and juniors Ryan Cross, 5′ 7″ 190 and EJ Weber 6′ 2″ 240 back from last year and much better and stronger. The addition of C.W. Harter at center should make them solid on offense.
“Our goal is to have ball control on offense and to limit the chances to score for the opposition. Anyone who knows football will tell you the game is won and lost on the line of scrimmage. This is the group we are counting on to carry our team this year. We have good size and our linemen have displayed pretty good quickness as well. Once again, injuries will be a key part to our season. I don’t expect these kids to lie down for anyone on our schedule. We feel if we stay healthy we will have a good year, the goal as always is to stay injury free and make the playoffs, ” added Coach Croasmun.
The Wildcats have two new teams on the schedule for this year in Van and Beallsville. Improving on last year’s 2-8 record is a goal of the Coaching staff and every player on the team. Last year injuries played a big part in the Cat’s winning only two games. The Cat’s have been working hard on conditioning, which plays a key part in limiting injuries.
The key to the offense will be Shreves ability to step in and fill the quarterback spot and limit the number of penalties and turnovers. Defensively Croasmun says they will be solid up the middle with Amos back as the leading tackler. The defensive lineshould also be very solid with Joy, and Harton at the tackles, Jeff Billiter will also be relied on to help out. Weber will be a force at defensive end along with Carpenter. Croasmun said they will have to sure up the secondary but he feels they have guys who can be effective.
Croasmun is assisted by Ron Casto, Joe Anderson and Tim Raper. Trainers are Mike Owens and Tiffany Heinzman and his support staff is Jeff Bowers, Mike Shreves, Jeremy Joy and Joey Anderson.
Band Director is Debra Price, Athletic Director, Dave Riggle and Principal Jay Salva.